Friday, December 2, 2011

What's is Love??

Baby don't hurt me...no more. Why yes, I am sitting here bopping my head back and forth to this amazingly hip song. In case you want to, click to enjoy: What is Love Song.


Now, back to business. I was washing dishes tonight (because Chris's usual idea of "cleaning" the kitchen is to put some dishes in the dishwasher and the rest in the sink...does he think these magically get washed on their own?) and I started thinking about this song and what it's saying...what is love??

I'm getting anxious about the holidays; I always do. This is a time that should be spent relaxing and enjoy the true gift of love, Christ. Instead, I am often times wrapped up in buying gifts, volunteering at church, taking the kids to see Santa, and an endless list of other things that fill my calendar, that I forget to remember what Christmas is all about. Most often I stress over stupid family stuff...people and feelings I can't control. I stress over money and how we are going to afford to buy gifts, gifts that most likely cost a lot because my worldy mind thinks that spending lots equals big rewards. Well, and the fact that I always wait til the last minute to shop and by then I can't think of a creative gift to give or make because I don't have time. And tonight, I was thinking about all of this and a scripture came to mind. "Love keeps no record of wrong". So, if I truly love, whether it's in general or someone specific...I should do just that! That doesn't mean I can't be hesitant or cautious with people regarding my feelings. I have been hurt too many times by people I care and love. But I can't let their attitudes towards me dictate my behavior. I don't have to like them and they don't have to like me, but I can still love. 

So, in case you need a reminder, here is what love is:


"No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end. Love never dies."

(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)




A-Z About Me

One of my friends recently posted this, from another person's blog so I figured I'd play along. Maybe you'll learn something about me...if you do, let me know!

A. Age: 26, though my birthday is Jan 7th...I love presents.
B. Bed Size: King. Once you go king, you never go back.
C. Chores you hate: Cleaning the shower. UGH. I'd rather clean 50 toilets than 1 shower.
D. Dogs: 1, Maddie. She is a bichon. I actually despise her and somewhat look forward to her going to heaven. She just peed on my carpet after I spent $85 to get them cleaned.
E. Essential start to my day: If I have the money, a diet coke from McDonalds. Best. Thing. Ever. Best $1.09 spent.

F. Favorite Color: I'm not partial to one color, I enjoy them all.
Gold or Silver: Silver. I feel like gold is for old people.
H. Height: 5'5"
I. Instruments you play: I dabble on the keys, though I wish above all that we had a piano in our house (remember questions "A"...)
J. Job Title: Mommy, house cleaner, custodian, grounds keeper, maid, babysitter, psychiatrist, etc. The list really doesn't end...
K. Kids: 2: Avery, who is 2 1/2 and Isaiah who is 9 months.


L. Live: Carmel. Well, we are in Westfield, but our address is Carmel. I don't understand it.

M. Mother's Maiden Name: Danette, though she also goes by Molly
N. Nicknames: Apes/Ape 
O. Overnight hospital stays: Other than childbirth, I have not stayed overnight in the hospital.
P. Pet Peeves: Lots of things...people who avoid confrontation, dirty windows, a messy house (yes, I am perpetually peeved about this...I can never get mine to stay clean), oh and above all: when there are 2 doors that open into an establishment and people going in and out are just using one side. Then there becomes a huge congestion of people waiting to go in or out because they are only using one door. There are 2 sides for a reason; use them both! One side for coming, one side for going. It's not rocket science.
Q. Quote from a movie: Where do I begin?! Pretty much anything from Dumb & Dumber... "Here Lloyd, this helps!"

R. Right or Left Handed: Right
S. Siblings: My older brother, Josh. He is awesome. I wish he and my parents lived closer so I could see them more often. 
T. Time you wake up: Recently, it has been 5:12am so that I can haul my lazybones to the gym before the world wakes up.
U. Underwear: Yes please. I prefer American Eagle's underwear if you must know. Covers my butt and it's cheap. 
V. Vegetable you hate: All. Not really...but most I dislike but choke down because they are healthy and good for me. I will not, under any circumstance, eat peas. Barf.

W. What makes you run late: Avery and Isaiah, and the constant planning that goes with them. Whether we are going or they are staying, here is what I have to deal with: Do we have diapers, wipes, bib, spoon, food for Isaiah, clean bottle(s), formula, changes of clothes for Isaiah, change of clothes for Avery, underwear for Avery, pacifier, burp cloth, Avery's blanket, Isaiah's blanket, Avery's lambie(s), toys to occupy Isaiah, dvd's to occupy Avery, shoes, socks, hats gloves, coats...Now, do you understand why I'm late?!
X. X-rays you've had: On my wrist when I fell taking a charge in high school basketball. No break, just sprained. I got a sweet wrist support that I had to wear. It was very attractive.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Pretty sure everything I make is yummy. I love cooking and baking and I think I'm pretty darn good at both. However, I recently made a delicious chicken tortilla soup and took a picture of it just to show how good it was:
 
Z. Zoo animal: I love the penguins! I love to watch them swim and play around. The monkey's are cool too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baby Stuff for Sale

I feel like the list of items I need to get rid of grows on a daily basis. So, here are all the things I want to sell that I no longer need!


1. Graco Silhouette Swing. ($70) Holds babies up to 30lb. Has 6 swing speeds with auto shut off. Nature sounds or classical music options. 3 seat recline positions.




 

2. Evenflo Expressions High Chair. ($40) 










3. Diaper Genie Elite system ($25)  Has step open lid. Used, but like new; NO odor. Also includes 1 NEW refill.  











4.Fisher Price Rainforest Activity Gym ($25)









5. Changing Pad - Contoured ($10)











6. Bebe Pod Seat & Tray ($10). I am missing the white pommel, but it isn't a necessity for the functionality of the seat.  Adjustable tray included.








7. Fisher Price Go Baby Go Kickin' Bobbin Bear Gym ($10)









 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Anyway

If I may be transparent with you, I am battling some tough situations within my extended family. There have been many times when I have really wanted to react in a very negative and un-Godly manner. And I have; in my own home, with my husband. I can't tell you how badly I have wanted to call some people up and give them a piece of my mind...but, I can't let my flesh have control. I just can't....so, tonight I was reminded of a poem a friend of mine shared...maybe it will encourage you in some way.

Anyway, by Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where have I been?

Wow. I didn't realize it had been FOREVER since me last post. I'm sure no one really cared...but, in the event that there is someone out there that did, here is what has been happening...

In mommy world, Isaiah is rolling all over the place. I can tell he wants to pull up on things, but hasn't figured that out yet. I don't think he has a strong desire to crawl. He does get up on all fours and sort of, humps the air, as if he's willing his body to move forward. He still has no teeth and I have a feeling that when they do come, it will be all at once and my life will be miserable for awhile. Avery is doing good. She's potty trained, though needs help wiping and getting her pants on. She has been taking things into her own hands lately, and tries to go "all by herself"...in which case there ends up being poop smeared in several spots in the bathroom and lots of toilet paper used. We'll get there.

As far as my own personal, non-mommy world goes, I'm doing great. Honestly, I wasn't for awhile. I was struggling with PPD and was on several meds to get it right. After awhile (and much prayer to feel normal) I wanted to be off the meds and just try and be me without them. My first attempt at this failed and I had to go back on them. Several months later, I tried again and now I feel like me again! I'm thankful too...I like me. I just started going to the Crossfit gym so I'm hoping to lose some weight and gain some muscle and strength. I get very frustrated though because I want to be at like a level 7, but I'm only at a 1.5. And it's going to take time and effort, which I wish wasn't the case. I'll get there. I'm committed though!!

We recently had to spend a butt load of money getting our furnace and AC replaced. So things have been tight in the cash department. However, we continue to pray that God will provide. He hasn't let us down yet! It would just be awesome to find a big box of money on our front porch one morning, with a note from Jesus that said "Here, thought you could use this". We are thankful for parents who continue to provide us assistance though. Without them, we'd probably be...living at their house.

And that's that. I'm super excited for Christmas. I can't wait to bake cookies with Avery to leave for Santa. And to see her face as she opens gifts is going to be awesome. Now that she actually understands what's happening, it's going to make opening gifts much more exciting!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am rich!



Owen: Nikki, God will give you the desires of your heart. He will give you anything you ask for.
April: Well, my desire is to be rich!!
Owen: What are you talking about?? You are rich! Have you seen your house? You have 2 beautiful kids, you're alive!

After having this conversation with some of our best friends, I reflected on it further, which is something I don't usually do. For some reason though, I just couldn't shake what Owen had said. It really made me think about my life.

Unfortunately, I've had a couple close friends (or people who I thought were friends) break off our friendship simply because of what we have; our things. Possessions; here today and gone tomorrow. I can't even describe to you how hurt I was (and still am) over this falling out. Everything we have, everything, is simply because God has given it to us. I have done nothing to earn or deserve what I have; I am a sinful human who screws up all the time. But, I know that the "stuff" is just one way in which God shows his love for us for obeying him. My kids, my health, my house, even my crappy car are all gifts! Why some people feel the need to judge us for our things is beyond me... I just want to be thankful and share the things in my life that I love and have been blessed with, to others. Isn't that what it's all about? Love one another.

I have to start having a Godly mindset...I am rich! Rich in God's eyes. My thought when Owen made that comment was, "I want to be rich; filthy stinkin' rich! Money to buy anything and everything! No need to stress over bills, food, vacation, etc.". But I was thinking of richness from the world's mentality. Just because I don't drive a brand new car or live in a million dollar house doesn't mean I'm not rich. God thinks I am and his opinion is all that matters.


1 Timothy 6:17-19 Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.



Famine and Adoption

I was reading one of my favorite magazines, "The Week" and came across an article on the rising famine epidemic in Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya). Then again tonight on the NBC Nightly News, there was another story about this dreadful problem. It was so difficult for me to watch the images of people being driven from their homes in search of food and water. My heart broke over the thousands of children who are dying because of this; little aid is being provided and with nothing else left, they simply die from starvation. Coincidentally, I was in the middle of feeding Isaiah his bottle and looked down at him; my chunky baby, who has formula and food at his disposal. His cheeks look like they could explode, he has fat rolls on his thighs that are worse than mine and, as my brother says, he has "rubber bands" around his wrists.
I have several friends who have adopted and who are wanting to adopt a child from another country. I know so many wonder why anyone would even want to adopt another child, and even if that were the case, why a child from another country when there are plenty of kids in America who need homes. These questions can simply be answered by the pictures below. The children in America don't have these conditions; even the one's in foster care are better off then any child from a third world country. How could anyone not look at one of these children and not want to scoop them up and love on them?? I just hope one day I get that chance.






"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'

"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'

"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

Matthew 25:34-45

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Body Image Issues - Children addition

I saw yesterday on Good Morning America a story about a girl who was 6yrs old and was worried that she was fat. Here is the link to the video and article...PLEASE WATCH! (Body Image Issues: 6-Year-Old Girl Worries She Is Fat - ABC News She came home and asked her mom why her tummy was so fat? Her mom responded with "Why would you ask me this" and the daughter replied that a girl in the bathroom said that she had a fat tummy. In a recent survey, half of girls age 3-6 were worried that they were fat. Doesn't this outrage anyone else but me?! How is it that these young girls are concerned with being fat, when they should be worried about how to tie their shoes or which swing to play on at the park. The 6yrs turns out to be totally normal and healthy according to her pediatrician, who said her BMI is completely okay.
I found myself worried about what sort of message I am going to send to my kids regarding body image. I have a song that I sing to Avery when we go to the gym that I made up "...oh we're going, oh we're going to the gym, so Mommy can get thin...". After hearing this news story, I stopped, and wondered that this is exactly why our kids have such negative body images. I can't even love myself and enjoy my own body. You can ask Chris too...he can for sure attest to the countless time I've sobbed uncontrollably regarding how fat I am, and I need to lose weight, eat better, etc. I try on ever piece of clothing in my closet, only to end up in elastic pants and a baggy shirt to hide all my insecurities. How can I teach my kids to love themselves when I don't love the way I am? Of course I can try but if I don't practice what I preach, isn't it moot?
I just hope that I can work to show my children that what truly matters is on the inside...the condition of your heart and how you treat others. God wants us to put on love: "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Colossians 3:12-14). And for the record, I've stopped singing my "get thin" song.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Weeds of Life

This past week I have spent quite a bit of time outside doing yard work. While I enjoyed getting a good tan, I did not enjoy the back breaking work of laying mulch, spraying for bugs, cutting grass, and pulling up vine ground cover. Lame. However, I was out spraying weed/grass killer around the driveway and sort of had an epiphany. I saw these weeds growing along an area of our driveway and wondered how in the world they were able to grow there! In an area of poured cement, sealed for years, how in the heck could a small piece of weed find itself in such an isolated area? It made me think about our lives...we can feel and look put together, but given the tiniest and minute of space, a weed can weasel itself in and cause an ugly space. We must constantly find ourselves at the feet of our Gardener. Thankfully God doesn't prune us as often as I tend to my yard.
How thankful we should be that we don't have to live with those weeds...that God is always there to accept us and forgive us, no matter if we are a field of just weeds or have some flowers scattered in too. Jesus is our RoundUp!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heavy Stuff...

I recently heard about an acquaintance who was under investigation for sexually abusing his 4 year old little girl. While my mouth hit the floor, I was in shock at how something like this happens. Sadness, anger, disgust, sorrow...so many emotions for that family. And combine it with the recently news about Elizabeth Smart and her abduction and assault, it makes me sick. How does anyone person trust another person to watch their kids? Or how do you ever let your child our of your sight? I know we live in a sinful world but I struggle with how such horrible things happen to innocent children.
I think about when our kids get older, meet friends at school and want to have sleep overs or go and play at their house. I'm certain that I will always say no and they will be forced to have their friends over here. I remember when I was a kid, my parents would let my brother and I ride our bikes all over the neighborhood. We'd be gone for hours. Did they worry too or just trust us and our neighborhood? We would even play outside in our own backyard unsupervised. Maybe my mom secretly checked on us without us knowing or seeing her, but still...I'm sure someone could have snatched us in a minute.
I don't understand what the thrill or arousing thing is in doing such dreadful things to children. It's moments like those that make me wish I did have a bubble to put my kids in for the rest of their lives. I pray every night, if for nothing else or anyone else, I pray for my kids. That they will be safe and that when I wake up in the morning, they will be there. I just hope God always keeps them guarded.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Floyd Farewell

I wanted to dedicate this blog to our friends, Kyle and Nancy. We have known them for about 5 years now and have become even closer to them over the past year or so. We live just down the street from them and even have a weekly Tuesday dinner date, which is awesomeness because every other week, I get a night off from cooking. Nancy makes some pretty amazing meals too, which is of course an added bonus. However, this weekend they are moving back to Nashville, TN. *insert sad face here*
When they told us awhile back that they had been praying about this move and that it was basically inevitable, I told myself that it probably wouldn't happen. I figured, even IF it did, and that was a big IF, it wouldn't be for at least a year or two. I hate when God's right and I'm wrong...because it seemed like only days went by and they said it was a reality. Kyle had been offered an amazing job and with their house on the market and close to selling, they were shipping out.
The decision for them to move is, I know, the right one, but it is super hard for me to accept. I find myself shutting down every time we talk about it...we are losing our best friends. I get jealous thinking that our dinners will be spent with someone else, our coffee dates will be with other girls, and even walks around the neighborhood will be spent with some other "replacement". After Chris and I got married, I struggled hard with finding a good group of friends, and even a good girl friend to open up with. I prayed so hard that God would give me those relationships...most all of my other girl friends had moved away and I desperately needed those connections. He gave us Kyle and Nancy and I was thrilled. I remember after we met the Floyd's, I told Chris that I really liked Nancy (if you've met her, how could you not like her? I mean, come on) and hoped to become good friends with her. He would always ask me "Have you talked to Nancy lately?" or "you girls hanging out??" When we moved up to Carmel and into their neighborhood, I was more than excited. I've always wanted one of those relationships where you just walk right into your friends house without knocking; you know where everything is in their kitchen; you feel comfortable being barefoot on their floors; your kids would be safe with them if something happened.... And now they will be gone...
It is the right decision for them to go; they are following God's will which can only be right. It is hard for me to put aside my selfish desires though!! I know God will continue to bless them and me...but this change is hard. I know it doesn't mean our friendship is ending by any means, but things always change when people move away. I have friends that live far away and while we are still friends and talk occasionally, we aren't involved in the day to day stuff. And over time, those close bonds always seem to stretch themselves thinner and thinner. I just have to pray that God will keep us close...because they can't get rid of me that easily!!!
So, to the Floyd's: I love you. You will be greatly missed, not just by us, but by so many others who also consider you family. You will always be welcome in our home. Avery is going to miss you so much but I know she talks to you on her fake phone so just don't let that get out of control. She does have a bedtime... Thank you for being such great friends to us; for praying with and for us; for supporting us and always opening yourselves up to be real with us. You have been the greatest ass-kicking best friend neighbors of all time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

This year on Mother's Day, I had an extra special gift...we dedicated Isaiah to Jesus! I was very excited to learn a month ago that the next dedication at Lakeview would be Mother's Day. How awesome is that?! Our family and friends, whether present or not at the service, I know have been and will continue to pray for us. I love that on a day where I am honored, I was able to give back to God what he has so generously given to me. I can only pray and hope that Isaiah is like David, a man after God's own heart.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Isaiah Update

Well, my little man is 2 months old! Whoa...crazy how fast it's gone. He is 11 lb 4 oz; chunky monkey. So far, he's a healthy baby. My only complaint is he's been fussy and crabby for awhile, especially during feedings. I finally couldn't handle the craziness anymore. The Dr. thinks he has some mild reflux, so he's been put on some med to help with it. I can definitely tell a difference being that I don't smell like baby spit up after every feeding. Nice.

He's been on formula now for a couple weeks. It has definitely alleviated pressure and stress on me and I am very grateful. Now that Chris can help, especially during the night feedings, I am very happy. I wish I could have breastfed longer, for the health benefits, but I figure 6 wks is good. I feel loads better and it has improved my mental status greatly.

Other than that, things are going good! Until next month...or breakdown, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Avery Do

Just wanted to give an Avery update! My little girl is slowly growing up. Eesh. I love it. Every day I look at her face and think it has changed in some small way. She is almost 2 and I can't believe how fast it has gone. I look at Isaiah and think it's going to take forever before he's at the same stage Avery is...yet I know it will go by so quickly.

Avery is talking up a storm. I realize almost daily that she uses a new word, one that I haven't even "taught" her, yet she hears me or Chris say it and then says it later. Weird. She is also combining words to make "sentences" and I love to hear all the funny things she comes up with.

She is definitely gaining her independence. With nearly everything, she always says "Avery do!" because she wants to do it. When I put her diaper on, "Avery do", when I wash her in the bath, "Avery do!". I asked her if she needed help getting on the swing yesterday and she said, "No, Avery do". Of course she struggled and I asked again, of which she did ended up letting me help her. She's an independent woman.

Along with this independence, is her need to take her diaper on and off. Yesterday when I got her up from nap, it was off and she's standing in her crib naked. She said "Mommy, diaper off, trash." Thanks for the tip Avery. I'm not sure if she is doing it because it's something new she's discovered that she can do on her own, or if it's a sign she's ready for potty training. I tried putting underwear on her last week for a day, but she peed in them and continued playing as if nothing seemed wrong. She has just started within the past couple days of telling me when she has gone poop so maybe that's a promising sign that she's getting closer. I think if I had a solid few days to work with her, without taking care of Isaiah, we'd be able to get it. I think she's cognitively ready but with me being too distracted, I think it might have to wait a bit.

Avery is very into all things Toy Story. She also loves Shrek (and she always says Shrek Donkey!), Finding Nemo, Mickey Mouse, and Handy Manny. Chris said he thinks it's weird she isn't into the Princess movies but I said that will come later. She's too young to be into Prince Charming, dress up, make-up, and true love. She has a couple pairs of Toy Story PJ's, t-shirts, and a Handy Manny shirt, all of which she wants to wear, usually at the same time. I can understand now why toddlers are usually dressed in cowboy boots, jean shorts, a tutu, shirt, 4 pig tails and jewelry. They like what they like.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kool Aid Play-Dough

I decided that I need to be doing more craft projects with Avery...rather than having her watch Shrek or Toy Story all day, we need to get our hands dirty!
I found some recipes for edible play-dough online and thought this was a perfect way for us to work together and create something awesome. I wanted to make the peanut butter one, but it required honey which I didn't have enough of. SO, we made Kool-Aid play-dough. It was super easy to make and smelled just like Kool-Aid. Though it is edible, I don't think anyone would be caught eating it since it has 1/2 cup of salt and tastes disgusting.

Here is what it looks like when you mix all the ingredients together



After it heats up, it forms into play-dough. I then put it on waxed paper to knead it until it was cool enough for Avery to handle.


Avery loved it! It felt JUST like actual play-dough.


I figure it's a great recipe to keep on hand, in the event we want to make different colors (especially for themed color day, which is coming shorty), and, it's cheap. Here's the recipe in case you want to make your own!


Kool-Aid Play-Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
3 tsp cream of tartar
1 pkg unsweetened Kool-Aid
1 cup water
1 TB oil

Add all ingredients into a sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly until thick and forms into dough. Knead until cool. Makes about 2 cups worth of dough, which is alot. I would even suggest cutting recipe in half (but still using whole package of Kool-Aid). Dough does have a slight gritty texture from the salt too.







Friday, March 25, 2011

Breastfeeding: My insight on the boob.

I'm certain that I have professed my feelings on the topic of breastfeeding, however, I'm sure it's okay to relive them.
After the 1am feeding this morning, I was lying in bed thinking about all of this and couldn't shut my brain off. So, in order to sleep tonight, or rather, have something new placed on my brain to think about, here was what I was thinking:
I feel that there are 2 kinds of breastfeeding moms:
Type 1: Breastfeeders who do it for the "bonding" with baby. I have found that more often than not, these moms are also the crazy ones who have their kid on the boob when they are 4yrs old. Gross.
Type 2: Breastfeeders who do it begrudgingly, and merrily for the health benefits. Oh and it's free.
Now, I'm sure you can guess which one I am... I for one hate breastfeeding. It is such a pain in the butt (or boobs). I probably feel this way since my milk supply is on the hyper-active setting but regardless, it sucks. I hate constantly feeling tied to either my baby or the pump. I've got to carry one or the other with me wherever I go! If I've got the pump, then I have to remember extra batteries, ice packs, wipes/water to clean the parts afterwards, and then finding a location to actual do the pumping (normally this is my car. If you see Petey parked randomly in a spot in the middle of an abandoned parking lot, most likely it's me). I hate how my boobs feel...engorged, lumpy and when the milk "refills" in the ducts, I can feel that and it hurts. My whole entire day is planned around my boobs. If I haven't fed/pumped in the morning, then I can't shower because all that hot water is going to produce"ol' faithful" results from the girls. Which side I sleep on at night even depends on which side I fed last and which side is on deck. Ugh. And even after the doc gives the all clear for sex, the boobs are still off limits. Constantly being in a bra, buying nursing pads to prevent leaks, nipple cream...evil.
And how can anyone "bond" with their baby while doing this?? I don't get it!! If I want to bond with my baby, it isn't going to involve fluid gushing out of my body parts, parts that are normally reserved for my husband's use. I want to cuddle watching a movie, play outside, sing songs or dance even. Bonding shmonding.
The times I have the baby with me and I'm out in public, watch out. Those are times that make me want to crawl in a whole. I hate feeding in public! I even have a nursing cover, blanket, and burp cloth, all at the ready, covering every inch of my body so nothing goes flying out. But still, it's a pain. And the looks from people are astounding. It's like I have malaria or a deformity or something. Like, "how could I possibly be breastfeeding a baby?! The nerve!" I could totally understand these looks and feelings if I had my boob all out for the world to see and/or I was feeding a toddler. But a newborn? Really? It isn't necessary society.
Which takes me back to type 2...the health benefits. Pretty much any and all kids I know who were not breastfed, are constantly sick. Even the ones not in daycare. It's amazing to me. Avery has had 1 ear infection in her 2 yrs and that, I think, is incredibly good. Formula is expensive and that is also why breastfeeding, for me, has to work. If it wasn't so costly, I'd give up the boob now for the bottle but I know that it isn't something we can afford. Well, we could, but then we'd probably have to eat ramen a couple nights a week.
So there you have it...my insightful reflections on breastfeeding. More to come later I'm sure!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Post-Partum Bod...

I wanted to write a bit about me...my feelings and thoughts post-pregnancy. I don't AT ALL want anyone to think this is a sob story nor am I "fishing" for compliments. I simply want to be honest and real and share what I'm going through. Maybe it might help someone else who may be going through the same thing...and maybe someone has gone through it and can relate! Either way...here goes...

I am now 4 wks post-partum...while I realize this is a short amount of time, on the other hand, I feel like "Gosh, 4 wks is long!". I don't feel like I've accomplished much of anything as far as a diet or exercise plan goes thus far. I am still a bit sore where my incision is, but regardless, I'm still WAY out of shape. Like, scale from 1-10, I'm 1...or 0 even. It's so hard to get motivated when I am sleep deprived from having a baby attached to my boob, chasing after Avery, cleaning up after Avery, Chris and myself, grocery shopping, making dinner, and the list goes on and on. Besides, when do I have time?! Even IF I get an hour or two where both kids are sleeping, all I want to do is put my feet up and relax.

I gained 30 lb's and was 176 when I went into the hospital. Today, I am plus/minus 154. While I realize that's 20lb's and is great, I also realize I need to still lose about 20 more lb's. And the later will be way harder to take off. Lame. The icing on this fat cake, is my stomach now looks funky from where my incision is. My worst fear was that I'd look like one of those contestants on "The Biggest Loser" who has some sort of scar and their fat grows over it and then they look deformed. I'm sure it might look somewhat "normal" if I were to drop those 20lb's but that's if I can even accomplish that. Ugh. High five to having babies!

On top of all this, the worst is how I feel towards Chris. I know he's totally ready to have his wife back, especially since now I don't have a giant belly that moves when he touches it. I'm not pregnant and therefore my mind says I should look and feel not pregnant. But that's not realistic. And the thought of sex (sorry, I'm sure my mother in law is reading this...might be sort weird for her...) just grosses me out. How can I feel sexy and attractive when I've got all these body image issues running through my mind? Even if Chris by chance happens to touch my stomach or my butt, my mind immediately thinks "Oh no! I hope he didn't feel what I see in the mirror!" UUUGGHH. And to complicate it even more so, Chris is in the best shape of his life...chiseled features and tight muscles...yeah I'm sure he'd just love to get with this!!

So, I guess I'll get back to you when I figure it all out. Hopefully I do... in the meantime, I wonder if I have any ice cream downstairs....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Isaiah James


Finally, baby boy Mason is here! My little man arrived Feb. 24th at 7:49am via c-section, 7 lb's 4 oz and 20" long. Chris and I still weren't even sure what to name him as I was getting prepped and ready for the c-section either, which only added to my nerves about the surgery. The night before, I was driving home and heard a song on Klove. At the end of the song, there is a little boy who reads Isaiah 40:28-31:

"The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I can't even begin to describe how this moved my heart. I was so anxious and nervous about having my belly cut open and this verse just helped soothe me. I got up early the morning of my surgery and wrote it out on a little piece of paper, which I carried with me up until going into the OR. I remember reciting it during the surgery until I heard my little boy scream!
Before hand, Chris said, "Hey, how about the name Isaiah??" I shared with him how God spoke through the song and verse and felt like it was confirmation that maybe this what we were to name our son. Alas, Isaiah it was! I think it suites him too, though at 3 wks old now, who knows!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Moment

I was driving the other day and just had one of those "God moments". You know, times when you get this overwhelming feeling of his presence and I was oh so grateful for it. Let me explain...

As I was driving home from dropping Avery off at my mom's, I looked in the rear view mirror at her empty car seat. Ahhh, such a quiet place now that she is gone... Anyway, I had a flashback to being in high school and remembering all the things that took place in my back seat, or someone else's. Now, most I'm not proud of and will spare you the details of those moments, but other's were fun and innocent. I remember being piled into Joe Venn's SUV with a group of people, and Candace and I "dancing" and acting a fool, on our way to a basketball game. I remember my spring break trip to Florida, with Candace, her sister and friend all in my car, and the idiotic stuff we pulled that vacation. I remember proms, other vacations, and other crazy moments spent in the car and I realize how different things are now! Instead of soda cans and fast-food bags (though I still might have one of those occasionally. I can't help myself!), I've got sippy cups and animal crackers. Instead of school books and homework, I now have children's books and etch-a-sketch.

It's a BIG change, one that I am happy and thankful for in many ways. Gone are the days of me-centered living and thinking. I now have a family; responsibilities. I'm not gonna lie, being an adult sucks. But it's a change that I am learning to really love and appreciate. I can't imagine my life any different. I'd trade those irresponsible moments of younger days for one minute of laughter from Avery, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the back seat, any time.

It even more amazes me that had I not had that miscarriage, Avery wouldn't even be here. All that pain and suffering, hurt and loneliness...all for her. God's plan is something larger and bigger than we can imagine. He can use the worst of situations for good; in his time. I'm just glad he did with us!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Waiting for Baby

I don't really have much to say today or recently... I've just been really anxious about having this baby. I'm ready and waiting. I found out yesterday that he is in fact breech, which is really worrying me. I know it's not a big deal but the thought of having a c-section is frightening to me. I think it's the fear of it all; the unknown. Plus, I just have this vision of a scar on my stomach that makes me have a bulgy non-flat stomach. Like those contestants on the Biggest Loser who have surgery and afterwards they just have this huge indent where the scar was and then all this fat that sort of caves inward. Gross. I also watched a c-section when I worked at the hospital and it's frightening to me! The tiniest incision is made then all these retractors are put in with people pulling hard. The thought of being conscious whilst I'm being cut open is also not so appealing, regardless of the spinal. I just hope he turns on his own and I don't need to have the version to move him.
Thankfully my mom came over yesterday to help me get some cleaning and organization done. I just haven't felt like doing much of anything lately and it was awesome that she helped out. We went through about 8 huge tubs of Avery's clothes that she had outgrown and filled an industrial garbage bag full of ones to donate. We also got out all the baby stuff for the new baby...bath tub, car seat, swing; with it all set up now, it makes me feel like he'll be here any minute.
I've decided to get rid of our dog Lexa too. I hate to do it...I love her so much and she's my dog. I love how great of a cuddler she is, how she loves to play fetch, and how much joy she brings Avery. But, she hasn't been doing well (come to think of it, she's pretty much been this way since we got her) with going potty outside. There are so many times that she pees on the floor and I just can't handle it any more. The stress is making me crazy! I'm very serious about having a mental breakdown, especially with the added stress of a new baby, and I don't want to hurt myself, the dogs, or the kids. So, I think the best thing is for us to find a new home for her. I put a listing out on petfinder, and at the end of the 2 wk listing, if she doesn't have a new home, we are going to take her to the humane society (no kill). I cry every time I think about it. I hate to say goodbye; like I'm giving up. But I just have to think about my sanity and the safety of my family. Ugh. I hate it.
In the mean time, hopefully I can get rested and relaxed before our new baby comes. We still have absolutely NO idea of a name so that's my homework for now!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life's Better with Baby

I was lying in bed last night thinking about this blog post. I almost got up at 2:30am to write it but decided I'd wait. I just have so much to say and my mind was racing! Here is how it all began...

I sat down to read a lovely magazine, "American Baby" and happened upon an article "Life's Better with Baby". As I skimmed through it, the summary was basically looking at the benefits of becoming a mommy and looking on the bright side. Here were some of the examples:

1. You've got an adoring fan
2. You belong somewhere
3. You'll make new friends
4. Your heart opens wider than you ever thought possible

Can I just say, LAME. Let's talk about a little thing I like to call, reality, for a minute. While I agree that the outcome of pregnancy is totally worth it, it's by no means fun. Now, being that I am on #2, I think I have some good insight. First time around, it's all so new and exciting...you have that "glow", you enjoy your growing bump, the excitement of all those kicks and movements. And then #2; you are soon departed from the fantasy land of baby joy and you arrive at reality. Your growing bump starts growing alot quicker than previously, thus you feel huge from the get-go. Since you know what to expect, you can feel the movements much sooner and thus have to deal with all that crap even longer. And it isn't so exciting anymore!! I don't want to lie in bed at 3am feeling my belly with a smile on my face like I did the first time. I WANT TO SLEEP! But unfortunately I can't because the baby won't stop squirming. I am in no way comfortable, whether lying down, standing, or sitting. Knowing what is to come; breastfeeding at all hours of the day, blowout diapers and poop everywhere, crying...on top of chasing a 2 yr old...Lord help me!

So, while it's nice to hold on to the idea that things will be all "so heavenly" and "lovely" once the baby is here, it's also nice to throw in what it's really like. I wouldn't change anything (ok, maybe a few things, like waiting a bit longer before getting pregnant again, but it's a bit late for that) and I love Avery and this baby boy. But I want to be realistic too. Life is better with baby. But I also want to take a nap, take a shower, go out to dinner, have adult conversation - all without baby sometimes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Addition

Finally! We have reached January! Alas, I only have 8 weeks left until I birth this baby...hopefully he even comes a bit early and then it will be a bonus. This pregnancy has been great and I am thankful that I haven't had any issues. With that said, I have never been more ready to be done with this pregnancy. With Avery, I think it was all so "new" and "exciting" that I really enjoyed it. Second time around, the newness has worn off. Quick. I'm ready to rid myself of all the squirming and moving, especially at night. I want to be able to not have heartburn all the time. To not pee when I sneeze. To not feel like I'm turning around the Titanic when I roll over at night. The list is literally, endless.

I'm actually terrified of the challenges that await me though. I guess that's one reason why it's nice I haven't popped yet. I know I've said it before, but caring for 2 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, a husband, a house, and myself...that's going to be rather difficult. Plenty of women have these issues though and survive. But will I survive? or end up in the nut house? I remember moments with Avery where I thought I was going to implode. The stress of it all, crying, hormones whacked out, etc. Now I will have that plus everything else. We were living with my parents when Avery was born so I always had backup a room away. Not so much now. I guess that's why they make happy pills!

Avery is talking so much more these days. She is good at repeating mostly anything we say to her, which is hilarious. She doesn't pronounce the words very well but it's funny to see her try. Chris said "sass" the other night while playing Jeopardy and Avery repeated him. Except she left out that first "s". Awesome. Her first bad word and it wasn't even on purpose.

She loves Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She also loves playdoh. She is excellent too at "pretend play". She will stir pots and pans in her kitchen, pretend to drink out of cups, pour coffee, etc. She also has been great with pretending her dolls have pooped. She gets out a wipe and diaper and will even take them to the potty just in case. I think this is a good sign that she will be such a good help with her baby brother! Though she isn't as willing to potty in the toilet herself. She tries, which is a good thing, but she mostly just plays. She'll go up and down the step to the potty, sit there for awhile, then get down. When I ask if she's done, she says NO and gets back on the potty. She then freaks out when I try to put her diaper back on. We'll get there!!